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Do Parents Value School Effectiveness?

Author

Listed:
  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu
  • Parag A. Pathak
  • Jonathan Schellenberg
  • Christopher R. Walters

Abstract

School choice may lead to improvements in school productivity if parents’ choices reward effective schools and punish ineffective ones. This mechanism requires parents to choose schools based on causal effectiveness rather than peer characteristics. We study relationships among parent preferences, peer quality, and causal effects on outcomes for applicants to New York City’s centralized high school assignment mechanism. We use applicants’ rank-ordered choice lists to measure preferences and to construct selection-corrected estimates of treatment effects on test scores, high school graduation, college attendance, and college quality. Parents prefer schools that enroll high-achieving peers, and these schools generate larger improvements in short- and long-run student outcomes. Preferences are unrelated to school effectiveness and academic match quality after controlling for peer quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Parag A. Pathak & Jonathan Schellenberg & Christopher R. Walters, 2017. "Do Parents Value School Effectiveness?," NBER Working Papers 23912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23912
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
    2. Gabrielle Fack & Julien Grenet & Yinghua He, 2019. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice and College Admissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(4), pages 1486-1529, April.
    3. Thomas Cornelissen & Christian Dustmann & Anna Raute & Uta Schönberg, 2018. "Who Benefits from Universal Child Care? Estimating Marginal Returns to Early Child Care Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(6), pages 2356-2409.
    4. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-362, March.
    5. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Peter Hull & Parag Pathak & Christopher Walters, 2016. "Interpreting Tests of School VAM Validity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 388-392, May.
    7. Christopher Avery & Parag A. Pathak, 2015. "The Distributional Consequences of Public School Choice," NBER Working Papers 21525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Sarah R. Cohodes & Susan M. Dynarski & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter High Schools on College Preparation, Entry, and Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 275-318.
    9. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien & He, Yinghua, 2015. "Beyond Truth-Telling: Preference Estimation with Centralized School Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 10907, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    11. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Nikhil Agarwal & Parag A. Pathak, 2015. "The Welfare Effects of Coordinated Assignment: Evidence from the NYC HS Match," NBER Working Papers 21046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves & Anna Vignoles & Deborah Wilson, 2015. "What Parents Want: School Preferences and School Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1262-1289, September.
    13. Susan Dynarski & Joshua Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 692-717, September.
    14. Joseph G. Altonji & Ching-I Huang & Christopher R. Taber, 2015. "Estimating the Cream Skimming Effect of School Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(2), pages 266-324.
    15. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-01215998 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Andrew Bacher-Hicks & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2014. "Validating Teacher Effect Estimates Using Changes in Teacher Assignments in Los Angeles," NBER Working Papers 20657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bergman, Peter & Chan, Eric & Kapor, Adam, 2020. "Housing Search Frictions: Evidence from Detailed Search Data and a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 13006, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Diether Beuermann & C. Kirabo Jackson & Laia Navarro-Sola & Francisco Pardo, 2018. "What is a Good School, and Can Parents Tell? Evidence on the Multidimensionality of School Output," NBER Working Papers 25342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gorman, Emma & Walker, Ian, 2020. "Heterogeneous Effects of Missing out on a Place at a Preferred Secondary School in England," IZA Discussion Papers 13167, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Doris, Aedin & O'Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2019. "Good Schools or Good Students? The Importance of Selectivity for School Rankings," IZA Discussion Papers 12459, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Peter Bergman & Isaac McFarlin Jr., 2018. "Education for All? A Nationwide Audit Study of School Choice," NBER Working Papers 25396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. W. Bentley MacLeod & Miguel Urquiola, 2018. "Is Education Consumption or Investment? Implications for the Effect of School Competition," NBER Working Papers 25117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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